Submitted by Kevin Casper
We’ve all seen the hysteria on Twitter. But isn’t that the problem; the fact that there’s hysteria in the first place?
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game by the critically-acclaimed developer From Software, the creators of the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. It’s an action-adventure game, where you are a disgraced warrior bound to rescue a young Lord from many vicious enemies. Maybe it’s a rhythm game with giant snakes, huge samurai, and more parrying than you’d ever thought possible. No, sorry, it’s definitely the pinnacle of difficult games that only the True Gamers™ will be able to complete.
Oh, wait, it’s a game.
Gaming is many things to many people. Games offer art, escape, challenge, excitement, pride, and accomplishment. They can be a deep, personal experience. They can be an exciting community event. All of this can be used to describe any one single game, and that’s an important fact. Whatever the intention, games are meant to be played. If a game can’t be played, it’s not much of a game at all.
And boy, is that a challenge to build for.
Anyone who’s ever played a game on PC can understand the never-ending battle of your wallet versus required specifications of games. No amount of “git gud” can fix a game that can’t display. To stymie such a barrier, the majority of games on the PC offer a variety of graphics options to run the game at. Downsize the resolution, turn off anti-aliasing, reduce shadows, tighten up the field of view, whatever gets the game working on your rig. Sure, you could buy an expensive piece of hardware to help with some of that, but you are still going to have other bottlenecks in the experience, like a need for a bigger SSD to reduce load times, a larger monitor to really see everything at the recommended resolution, or a better CPU to also handle your favorite Twitch stream playing.
Did you know, though, that graphics options are also used to give a competitive edge in some games? The top-tier shooter scene is full of people playing their preferred gunplay game at graphics settings far below their rig’s ability. Lower settings can mean more FPS, it can reduce visual clutter to read through, and provide a smoother experience towards success at the gameplay mechanics.
Are the professionals playing on “easy mode”?
Options are not requirements, and it’s sad if you don’t know the difference. A difference in choice from how one person plays doesn’t affect another’s enjoyment while playing. Changing a game’s FOV doesn’t make a game any harder or easier, it just helps accommodate for your skills and needs to enjoy the experience. To even be more on the nose, someone playing Diablo 3 on Normal doesn’t take away from your ability to enjoy playing it on Torment X. You’re still getting the game’s vision, you’re still finding your accomplishments, and you’re still having fun.
Shoot, I’m supposed to be talking about Sekiro, right? At this point, do I really need to? There are so many amazing, talented, intelligent people who have already shared much better insight into this Sekiro-sparked topic than I could ever hope to. Starting with AbleGamers COO, Steven Spohn:
Steve recently shared a ton of perspective on DigitalTrends, including his direct responses to some highly different views on Twitter. God of War’s director, Cory Barlog, shared some of his perspective on accessibility, saying “Accessibility has never and will never be a compromise to my vision” and more on his Twitter account. Danny O’Dwyer explores the topic with a Noclip Bonus Level. Cherry Thompson talks about Sekiro and her audio options in Bloodborne over at IGN. Matt Thompson, of Celeste fame, even offers up some specific ideas for Sekiro.
Overall, games are meant to be played. Not everyone may be able to do so, by no fault or choice of their own. That’s why we do what we do. So everyone can game.